What chances of Prime Minister Cameron by December 31st?

What chances of Prime Minister Cameron by December 31st?

    Is 50/1 against it happening a good value bet

In a new market the bookmaker Stan James is offering 50/1 against this eventuality which puts the assessment of it happening at 2%.

All betting is about value. How does your assessment of something happening compare with the betting prices available? If you think the probability of an outcome is better than the betting odds then you have a good value bet. Is this one worth taking?

For Cameron to be in Downing Street by News Year’s Eve, of course, requires two things:-for there to be a General Election and for the outcome of that to be a Conservative-led majority or minority government.

    The rub, of course, is that Prime Minister Gordon, as he said yesterday in India that he was going to be, is surely not going to go to the country unless there’s a very good chance of victory.

That would mean considerably better poll ratings than Labour is experiencing at the moment – that the process of his accession will turn support for the party round.

So realistically the only way this bet could be a winner would be if there was a very big Tory recovery during the campaign itself. Could Cameron take the party from, say, an opening 2-3% deficit to the 6-7% vote margin that he needs?

They might well do that and certainly John Major came through with a massive recovery compared with the polls in 1992. But I am not going to be on it.

Also on offer in the market are Tony Blair at 16/1 and David Miliband at 20/1 neither of which seem interesting. You can get better value on the “Blair leaving date” and “Next Labour leader” markets.

Mike Smithson

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